Thursday, June 09, 2005

Go Suck a Camel

“I am deeply troubled by the appearance that Bush administration political appointees pressured career Justice Department attorneys to protect tobacco companies," said Rep. Martin T. Meehan (D-Mass.), who also signed one of two letters to Fine.—Los Angeles Times: “Shift in Tobacco Suit Is Assailed” June 9, 2005
We all know “Bush administration political appointees pressure” people all the time. How else does Bush get his policies in place? Everyone pressures everyone else in D.C. The problem in this one is, it’s way too obvious. It’s on the front page of the L.A. Times “Business” section today, and it has gotten several high-ranking democratic senators in an uproar.
At least eight Senate and House Democrats — including Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles) — asked the Justice Department inspector general to investigate why senior officials apparently ordered the department's trial team to cut their most costly demand against the industry by more than 90%.Without explanation, government lawyers late Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler to order an industry-funded five-Year, $10-billion smoking-cessation program — instead of the 25-year, $130-billion program they had outlined previously.
I stopped smoking 20 years ago. I loved it. I still miss it. It is so deadly, as far as I know, that the very act of inhaling from a cigarette terrified me so much I finally quit in order to avoid the terror. Since statistics show only 3% of those who try to quit smoking every year are successful, the addiction must be enormous. Mark Twain famously said that quitting smoking was easy—he’d done it thousands of times.

But this is not about smoking or addiction or the jerks who sell us on this shit. It’s about lying, fraud, and contempt of morality in the name of almighty money. I have a friend, who as a head executive some years back in the Phillip Morris conglomerate, told me that at company get-togethers, as the powers-that-be would hack and cough and try to get a breath of air, they would look him in the eye and tell him that cigarettes didn’t cause any harm. My friend sold cheese so smoke wasn’t an issue with him.

At least this story is there for anyone to read and get the news—Bush cares about a few people—his family and friends, and that’s about it. Don’t be fooled into this government of the people, by the people and for… etc etc—that’s a Henry Fonda movie, not reality in these United States of America.

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